Brian Williams is probably the last person who should have made a joke about lying.
The MSNBC host got slammed on social media after a flippant comment he made while reviewing photos of storm damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida.
While he did tell viewers not to go out into the hurricane to take photos of their own, Williams then suggested they repost the image and “pretend you shot it.”
And though he was certainly joking, it was very telling coming from the former NBC Nightly News anchor who was fired in 2015 for a made up story about coming under enemy fire while reporting during the Iraq War. Though reinstated, Williams never regained his anchor position until late 2016 on MSNBC.
Reporter Cal Perry was showing photos from the storm to Williams and viewers on Sunday’s “MSNBC Live. ”
“The crew in Tampa, I had them e-mail photographs. Here’s the water, water in Tampa bay is receding.” he said. “And one of the things we do want to mention because people have power are probably seeing this, don’t go look. Let us show you this. Don’t go down there.”
Meteorologist Bill Karins agreed, saying “you don’t want to be driving around.”
“Forward this picture on Instagram, pretend you shot it, and pretend it’s yours, and we’ll look the other way,” Williams then said.
The comment may have gone unnoticed if made by someone else, but coming from Williams, it quickly drew backlash on Twitter.
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) September 11, 2017
"Pretend you took the picture, post it on instagram and we'll look the other way"
um.. Brian Williams.. U don't get to say stuff like that.
— Dēmus ♻ (@mindOFdemus) September 10, 2017
— Alex From El Barrio (@AfromElBarrio) September 10, 2017
— Andy Sternberg (@andysternberg) September 10, 2017
— (((Randi L Klein))) (@doodlehedz) September 10, 2017
I like Brian Williams but this bothered me re:hurricane coverage of Irma pic.twitter.com/WhVbQT7Tr0
— Sandy (@heretohearyou) September 10, 2017
I’m howling! Did Brian Williams tell folks grab the pic from Instagram and pretend you took it (but stay inside tho’) pic.twitter.com/Uy3O5pnkEk
— Tammi LaTela (@TLaTela) September 10, 2017
Someone must tell Brian Williams to stop cracking jokes. It's completely inappropriate.
— Griffer Boston (@GrifferBoston) September 10, 2017
I'm waiting for the story about Irma shooting his helicopter
— Tomahawk Jenkins (@TomfooleryTM) September 10, 2017
— Celtic Crab (@crabbydick) September 11, 2017
He is obviously lousy at making jokes.
— Dede Steiner (@dedesteiner) September 11, 2017